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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Global Warming Has NOT Affected The Abyss: Nasa reveals cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed since 2005


The cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new Nasa study.
Researchers say that while the find does not throw suspicion on global warming, it is a mystery.

They say it cold be related to the fact global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. 
Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

'The sea level is still rising,' Willis noted. 'We're just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.'

In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. 

The temperature of the top half of the world's ocean -- above the 1.24-mile mark -- is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

Many processes on land, air and sea have been invoked to explain what is happening to the 'missing' heat. 

One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim. 
This latest study is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean. Scientists have been taking the
temperature of the top half of the ocean directly since 2005, using a network of 3,000 floating temperature probes called the Argo array.

'The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure,' said JPL's William Llovel, lead author of the study, published Sunday, Oct. 5 in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

Just Say NO to a Carbon Tax?

I am against instituting a carbon tax, but my reasons are rather different from the conventional ones.  I see three major problems with any proposed carbon tax:
  • It irrationally discriminates against some forms of energy and subsidizes others.
  • It ignores the considerable benefits of atmospheric carbon dioxide in promoting the growth of plants, advancing agriculture, and lowering the cost of food for a growing world population. 
  • Focusing on a carbon tax emphasizes the idea that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant -- a claim that is rapidly becoming scientifically unacceptable.

Assuming we can maintain a revenue-neutral tax stream, I favor an energy tax (BTU tax) over a carbon tax, and will explain why.

Consumption taxes

Many politicians have favored a consumption tax from time to time.  A good example was presidential candidate Herman Cain, who proposed a consumption tax when he ran for the Republican nomination in 2012.  Economists who favor such a tax often insist that it must be revenue-neutral, by reducing some other taxes so as to keep total revenue constant.  This means it is not superimposed on other taxes -- although in the current political environment there’s no guarantee this will happen.
A carbon tax is of course a consumption tax that raises the price of all manufactured goods and their transportation.  Its burden falls most heavily on households in lower income brackets, which spend a larger fraction of their income on essential goods and services.  Yet many economists favor a consumption tax as a more effective way of financing government operations and promoting economic growth than other forms of taxation, like taxes on income or capital. 

But let’s first discuss the drawbacks of alternatives, such as a VAT (Value-Added Tax) or a Federal sales tax.  As is the case for all consumption taxes, these are all regressive; some adjustments will have to be made to protect low-income households.  Aside from that, we should compare the four methods in the matter of efficiency and the cost involved in running such a tax.

A VAT is the most invasive of all of these taxes, involves large amounts of bookkeeping, inspections, control, and other costs.  European experience with VAT has shown that it must be at least 15% of the value of goods to make any sense.

A Federal sales tax has some of the same problems as a VAT.  In addition, one can visualize a large amount of cheating going on -- especially if the tax is 10% or greater and provides incentives for such behavior.  And there are always the problems of defining exemptions for certain goods and for particular classes of users.

Collecting the Energy Tax
An energy tax is the simplest because it can be applied at a small number of choke points: at oil refineries and at electric power stations.  In other words, instead of being collected at millions of points like a VAT or a sales tax, collections take place at only several hundred points and can be just as effective.  We already have a Federal tax on gasoline -- so it will be only a matter of increasing its amount; a federal tax on electricity does not appear to present much of an administrative problem. 

The major advantage of an energy tax over a tax on emitted carbon dioxide is that it does not discriminate against coal, our cheapest and most plentiful fuel for electric power.  Nor does it provide an implicit subsidy for hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind.  Once it is recognized that CO2 is not a pollutant (in the sense of having adverse effects on climate), it can be seen that an energy tax is much preferable to a CO2 tax.

Note:  We’ve had suggestions of an energy tax before; it was often known as a BTU tax.  It must be realized that there will be some forms of energy that will avoid being taxed under the proposed collection scheme.  It then becomes necessary to see if it is worthwhile to capture such a form of energy or whether to ignore it because it’s so small.

Neutrality of Tax Revenues
Returning to the main theme of revenue-neutrality, I’m sure that tax experts can figure out which tax to reduce to compensate for an energy tax.  Many would favor lowering the corporate income tax, as Herman Cain suggested in 2012.  (In a properly operating competitive market, corporate profits are really an indicator of increased efficiency of operation.) 

There are a number of advantages to such a proposal.  It will make US corporations more competitive on the international market and avoid the problem of “leakage” of corporate headquarters to countries with lower tax rates.  In the final analysis, a corporate income tax is somewhat perverse; since a corporation is not a person, it does not consume goods.  It may transform them, but it does not consume them as a person would.  Instead, corporations should be encouraged to distribute their profits to their shareholders, who are now suffering from double taxation: first, when corporate profits are taxed, and later, when dividends are taxed as part of a shareholders’ personal income. 

Motor-fuel tax and Environmental concerns
A quick word about the advantages of (what amounts to) an increase in the Federal tax on motor fuels; the last such increase was imposed during the Reagan Administration.  The various States would remain free to collect whatever their voters approve.  But with fuel efficiency of vehicles rising, revenues derived from current State and Federal taxes are woefully inadequate to maintain highways and repair bridges.  Also, a significant portion of federal and state gasoline taxes have been diverted to other uses such as local rail transit; according to a study by NCPA, only 60% of the federal fuel tax revenue goes to highways, bridges, etc. Raising the cost of driving will also reduce traffic accidents, air and noise pollution, as well as traffic congestion -- although road and bridge tolls may be the best way to fight congestion.

Last but not least, environmental activists have always campaigned for an increased tax on gasoline --considering cars and trucks as enemies of an equitable global climate.  Although evidence for any significant influence of CO2 on climate is rapidly evaporating, a tax on fuels (and reduced use of motor vehicles) is bound to gain the support of the Greens and the media -- and of a sizable fraction of the public.

Gradually also, it has become clear that increased levels of CO2 are not only not harmful, but positively benefit the growth of plants worldwide – contributing to global agricultural prosperity.  The publication of NIPCC’s (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) Climate Change Reconsidered, by the Heartland Institute in 2014, of a massive compendium of relevant biological research, underlines these beneficial effects.
So to sum up, a carbon tax NO; an energy tax, MAYBE.  A lowering of taxes overall, YES.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

NASA: The Deep Ocean Hasn’t Warmed Since 2005 (but we’re all gonna die)

While still claiming that the results do not cast doubt on climate change, a new NASA press release says that the global oceans below 2,000 meters depth haven’t warmed since 2005. This is the period that we have had the deep oceans reasonably well sampled with thousands of globally-distributed Argo floats.

The thing that annoys me about such press releases is the obligatory disclaimer (no doubt crafted so that “skeptics” don’t have a field day with the press release):

“Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.”

Such statements have the usual vagueness that allows the True Believers to interpret it any way they want.

Does it mean: “It doesn’t throw suspicion on Al Gore’s impending thermogeddon”?
Or does it mean: “It doesn’t throw suspicion on the fact that climate has always changed, and always will change, with or without the help of humans”?
Or maybe something in between?

You see, as long as the IPCC gets away with basing alarmist rhetoric upon factually benign statements, like over half of the warming since the 1950s has been human induced (yawn), the global warming debate will remain dominated by extremists.

And this allows politicians to get away with saying whatever they want. Scientists are so vague that their statements can be used in a wide variety of ways that help the politician.

It’s Official: Global Warming ‘Pause’ or Standstill extends to over 18 years – ‘Pause’ has ‘endured for a little over half the satellite temperature record’

Global Temperature Update
It’s official: no global warming for 18 years 1 month
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The RSS monthly satellite global temperature anomaly for September 2014 is in, and the Great Pause is now two months longer than it was last month. Would this year’s el Niño bite soon enough to stop the psychologically-significant 18-year threshold from being crossed? The official answer is No.
Globally, September was scarcely warmer than August, which was itself some distance below the 18-year trend-line. Therefore, taking the least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies, there has now been no global warming for 18 years 1 month.

Dr Benny Peiser, our good friend at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in the UK, had anticipated the official crossing of the 18-year threshold by a day or two with an interesting note circulated to supporters on the ever-lengthening period without any global warming, and featuring our 17-years-11-months graph from last month.

The Great Pause is the longest continuous period without any warming in the global instrumental temperature record since the satellites first watched in 1979. It has endured for a little over half the satellite temperature record. Yet the Pause coincides with a continuing, rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Figure 1. RSS monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies (dark blue) and trend (thick bright blue line), September 1996 to September 2014, showing no trend for 18 years 1 month.
The hiatus period of 18 years 1 month, or 217 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.

RSS itself is now taking a serious interest in the length of the Great Pause. Dr Carl Mears, the senior research scientist at RSS, has a long and intriguing discussion of the Pause, and of the widening divergence between the models’ excitable predictions and the mundane reality in the RSS blog, at
Dr Mears’ results are summarized in Fig. 2:
Figure 2. Output of 33 IPCC models (turquoise) compared with measured RSS global temperature change (black), 1979-2014. The transient coolings caused by the volcanic eruptions of Chichón (1983) and Pinatubo (1991) are shown, as is the spike in warming caused by the great el Niño of 1998.

Dr Mears writes:

“The denialists like to assume that the cause for the model/observation discrepancy is some kind of problem with the fundamental model physics, and they pooh-pooh any other sort of explanation.  This leads them to conclude, very likely erroneously, that the long-term sensitivity of the climate is much less than is currently thought.”

Dr Mears’ regrettable use of the word “denialists”, with its deliberate overtones of comparison with Holocaust deniers, reveals Dr Mears as what we may call a “liarist” – one who is prone to push the evidence in the profitable direction of greater alarm than is scientifically justified.
Interestingly, therefore, the RSS data, which show less recent warming than all other datasets, are under the management of a liarist, while the UAH data, which (until v. 6 becomes available at any rate) continue to show more warming than the others, are managed by sceptics.

Dr Mears admits the discrepancy between the RSS data and the models’ exaggerations, but he echoes various trolls here in alleging the supposed “cherry-picking” of the start-date for the global-temperature graph:

“Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream press have pointed out that there appears to have been little or no change in globally averaged temperature over the last two decades.  Because of this, we are getting a lot of questions along the lines of ‘I saw this plot on a denialist web site.  Is this really your data?’  While some of these reports have ‘cherry-picked’ their end points to make their evidence seem even stronger, there is not much doubt that the rate of warming since the late 1990s is less than that predicted by most of the IPCC AR5 simulations of historical climate.  … The denialists really like to fit trends starting in 1997, so that the huge 1997-98 ENSO event is at the start of their time series, resulting in a linear fit with the smallest possible slope.”

It is time to deal with this nonsense about start-dates very firmly. The spike in temperatures caused by the Great el Niño of 1998 is largely offset in the linear-trend calculation by two factors: the spike of the 2010 el Niño, and the sheer length of the Great Pause itself.

To demonstrate this, I replaced all the monthly RSS anomalies for 1998 with the mean anomaly value of 0.55 K that obtained during the 2010 el Niño. Then I recalculated the trend from September 1996 [not Dr Mears’ “1997”] to September 2014. All that happened is that the trend values “–0.00 C° (–0.00 C°/century)” shown in the unaltered data (Fig. 1) became “+0.00 C° (+0.00 C°/century)” in the recalculated graph. Not exactly a major difference. That is the end of that climate-liarist canard.
The length of the Great Pause in global warming, significant though it now is, is of less importance than the ever-growing discrepancy between the temperature trends predicted by models and the far less exciting real-world temperature change that has been observed.

IPCC’s First Assessment Report predicted that global temperature would rise by 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] Cº to 2025, equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] Cº per century. The executive summary asked, “How much confidence do we have in our predictions?” IPCC pointed out some uncertainties (clouds, oceans, etc.), but concluded:

“Nevertheless, … we have substantial confidence that models can predict at least the broad-scale features of climate change. … There are similarities between results from the coupled models using simple representations of the ocean and those using more sophisticated descriptions, and our understanding of such differences as do occur gives us some confidence in the results.”
That “substantial confidence” was substantial over-confidence. A quarter-century after 1990, the outturn to date – expressed as the least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the RSS and UAH monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies – is 0.34 Cº, equivalent to just 1.4 Cº/century, or exactly half of the central estimate in IPCC (1990) and well below even the least estimate (Fig. 3).
Figure 3. Near-term projections of warming at a rate equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] K/century , made with “substantial confidence” in IPCC (1990), January 1990 to August 2014 (orange region and red trend line), vs. observed anomalies (dark blue) and trend (bright blue) at less than 1.4 K/century equivalent, taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH satellite monthly mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.

The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with “substantial confidence” that the science was settled and the debate over. Nature had other ideas. Dr Mears, rightly, says the Pause is probably attributable to several factors rather than one. But the one factor he hastily rules out is any major error in the physics of the models.

Though more than 50 more or less implausible excuses for the Pause are appearing in nervous reviewed journals, the possibility that the Pause is occurring because the computer models are simply wrong about the sensitivity of temperature to manmade greenhouse gases can no longer be dismissed.
Remarkably, even the IPCC’s latest and much reduced near-term global-warming projections are also excessive (Fig. 3).
Figure 4. Predicted temperature change, January 2005 to August 2014, at a rate equivalent to 1.7 [1.0, 2.3] Cº/century (orange zone with thick red best-estimate trend line), compared with the observed anomalies (dark blue) and zero real-world trend (bright blue), taken as the average of the RSS and UAH satellite lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.

In 1990, the IPCC’s central estimate of near-term warming was higher by two-thirds than it is today. Then it was 2.8 C/century equivalent. Now it is just 1.7 Cº equivalent – and, as Fig. 4 shows, even that is proving to be a substantial exaggeration.

On the RSS satellite data, there has been no global warming statistically distinguishable from zero for more than 26 years. None of the models predicted that, in effect, there would be no global warming for a quarter of a century.

The Great Pause may well come to an end by this winter. An el Niño event is underway and would normally peak during the northern-hemisphere winter. There is too little information to say how much temporary warming it will cause, though. The temperature spikes of the 1998, 2007, and 2010 el Niños are evident in Figs. 1-4.

El Niños occur about every three or four years, though no one is entirely sure what triggers them. They cause a temporary spike in temperature, often followed by a sharp drop during the la Niña phase, as can be seen in 1999, 2008, and 2011-2012, where there was a “double-dip” la Niña that is one of the excuses for the Pause.
The ratio of el Niños to la Niñas tends to fall during the 30-year negative or cooling phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the latest of which began in late 2001. So, though the Pause may pause or even shorten for a few months at the turn of the year, it may well resume late in 2015 . Either way, it is ever clearer that global warming has not been happening at anything like the rate predicted by the climate models, and is not at all likely to occur even at the much-reduced rate now predicted. There could be as little as 1 Cº global warming this century, not the 3-4 Cº predicted by the IPCC.
Key facts about global temperature

  • The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 217 months from September 1996 to September 2014. That is more than half the 429-month satellite record.

  • The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.

  • The fastest measured warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England. It was equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century.

  • Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2 Cº per century.

  • The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since 1950 occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006. It was equivalent to 2.0 Cº per century.

  • In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of near-term warming was equivalent to 2.8 Cº per century, higher by two-thirds than its current prediction of 1.7 Cº/century.

  • The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to below 1.4 Cº per century – half of what the IPCC had then predicted.

  • Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its high-end business as usual centennial warming prediction of 4.8 Cº warming to 2100.

  • The IPCC’s predicted 4.8 Cº warming by 2100 is well over twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.

  • The IPCC’s 4.8 Cº-by-2100 prediction is almost four times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.

  • From August 2001 to August 2014, the warming trend on the mean of the 5 global-temperature datasets is nil. No warming for 13 years 1 month.

  • Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. It is as simple as that.

Technical note
Our latest topical graph shows the RSS dataset for the 217 months September 1996 to September 2014 – just over half the 429-month satellite record. This is as far back as it is possible to go in the global instrumental record and find a zero trend. The start-date is not “cherry-picked” so as to coincide with the temperature spike caused by the 1998 el Niño: it is calculated so as to find the longest period with a zero trend.

Furthermore, the length of the pause in global warming, combined with the offsetting effect of the 2010 el Niño on the calculation, ensures that the distortion of the trend caused by the proximity of the 1998 el Niño to the 1996 start date for the trend is barely discernible.

Terrestrial temperatures are measured by thermometers. Thermometers correctly sited in rural areas away from manmade heat sources show warming rates appreciably below those that are published. The satellite datasets are based on measurements made by the most accurate thermometers available – platinum resistance thermometers, which not only measure temperature at various altitudes above the Earth’s surface via microwave sounding units but also constantly calibrate themselves by measuring via spaceward mirrors the known temperature of the cosmic background radiation, which is 1% of the freezing point of water, or just 2.73 degrees above absolute zero. It was by measuring minuscule variations in the cosmic background radiation that the NASA anisotropy probe determined the age of the Universe: 13.82 billion years.

The graph is accurate. The data are lifted monthly straight from the RSS website. A computer algorithm reads them down from the text file, takes their mean and plots them automatically using an advanced routine that automatically adjusts the aspect ratio of the data window at both axes so as to show the data at maximum scale, for clarity.

The latest monthly data point is visually inspected to ensure that it has been correctly positioned. The light blue trend line plotted across the dark blue spline-curve that shows the actual data is determined by the method of least-squares linear regression, which calculates the y-intercept and slope of the line via two well-established and functionally identical equations that are compared with one another to ensure no discrepancy between them. The IPCC and most other agencies use linear regression to determine global temperature trends. Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia recommends it in one of the Climategate emails. The method is appropriate because global temperature records exhibit little auto-regression.

Dr Stephen Farish, Professor of Epidemiological Statistics at the University of Melbourne, kindly verified the reliability of the algorithm that determines the trend on the graph and the correlation coefficient, which is very low because, though the data are highly variable, the trend is flat.

Friday, October 3, 2014

More Global Warming Junk Science? reduces male births? or is abortions, Why?


  • In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
  • Based on available state-level data, an estimated 1.04 million abortions took place in 2012—down from an estimated 1.16 million abortions in 2009 and 1.13 million abortions in 2010
  • In 2011, the highest number of reported abortions occurred in California (181,730), New York (138,370) and Florida (84,990); the fewest occurred in Wyoming (120), South Dakota (600) and North Dakota(1,250) (AGI).
  • The 2011 abortion rates by state ranged from a low of 3.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 inMississippi (Wyoming had too few abortions for reliable tabulation) to a high of 28.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in New York (AGI).
Climate change could affect the ratio of human males to females that are born in some countries, a new study from Japan suggests. The researchers found that male fetuses may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Since the 1970s, temperature fluctuations from the norm have become more common in Japan, and at the same time there has been an increase in the deaths of male fetuses, relative to the number of deaths of female fetuses in that country, according to the study.
A new analysis from a climate change organization estimates which coastal countries can expect the most regular flooding by the year 2100.
Over this period, the ratio of male to female babies born in the country has been decreasing, meaning there have been fewer and fewer male babies born relative to the number of female babies born.

PHOTOS: Global Warming Right Before Your Eyes

This suggests that climate warming or climate extremes could negatively affect male fetuses, study researcher Dr. Misao Fukuda, of M&K Health Institute in Ako, Japan, told Live Science in an email.
In the study, the researchers looked at monthly temperature data gathered from 1968 to 2012 by the Japan Meteorological Agency and also at data on fetal deaths and infants born during that time from the Vital Statistics of Japan database. In recent years, there have been nearly 90,000 newborns, and about 1,000 fetal deaths recorded monthly in Japan. The researchers considered fetal deaths to be those that were spontaneously aborted (or miscarried) after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The study also looked at two recent extreme weather events in Japan — a very hot summer in 2010 and a very cold winter in 2011. During the hot summer —  which was the warmest in the country since 1898 —  there was an increase in the number of fetal deaths in September of that year, and nine months later, there was a decrease in the ratio of male to female babies born in the country.
A similar phenomenon occurred the next year — during a very cold winter in January 2011, there was an increase in fetal deaths, and nine months later, there was a decrease in the number of male babies born relative to female babies born in that country. [5 Ways Climate Change Will Affect Your Health]

BLOG: War Of The Words: Climate Change Or Global Warming?

These findings suggest that "the recent temperature fluctuations in Japan seem to be linked to a lower male: female sex ratio of newborn infants, partly via increased male fetal deaths," the researchers wrote in the Sept. 14 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.
However, the new study only found an association, and cannot prove that the climate changes were responsible for the change in sex ratio in Japan. Other factors, such as pollution and toxins in the environment, may affect sex ratios. But the researchers noted that the study found a link between temperatures in a specific month, and the sex ratios nine months later, suggesting temperature fluctuations may play a role in recent declines in the country's sex ratio.